Simple sentences:

A simple sentence has only one clause:

The children were laughing.
John wanted a new bicycle.
All the girls are learning English.

Compound sentences:

A compound sentence has two or more clauses:

(We stayed behind) and (finished the job)
(We stayed behind) and (finished the job), then (we went home)

The clauses in a compound sentence are joined by co-ordinating conjunctions:

John shouted and everybody waved.
We looked everywhere but we couldn’t find him.
They are coming by car so they should be here soon.

The common coordinating conjunctions are:

and – but – or – nor – so – then – yet

Complex sentences:

A complex sentence has a main clause and one or more adverbial clauses. Adverbial clauses usually come after the main clause:

Her father died when she was very young
Her father died (main clause)
when (subordinating conjunction)
she was very young (adverbial clause)

She had a difficult childhood because her father died when she was very young.
She had a difficult childhood (main clause)
because (subordinating conjunction)
her father died (adverbial clause)
when (subordinating conjunction)
she was very young (adverbial clause).

Some subordinate clauses can come in front of the main clause:

Although a few snakes are dangerous most of them are quite harmless
Although (subordinating conjunction)
some snakes are dangerous (adverbial clause)
most of them are harmless (main clause).

A sentence can contain both subordinate and coordinate clauses:

Although she has always lived in France, she speaks fluent English because her mother was American and her father was Nigerian
Although (subordinating conjunction)
she has always lived in France (adverbial clause),
she speaks fluent English (main clause)
because (subordinating conjunction)
her mother was American (adverbial clause)
and (coordinating conjunction)
her father was Nigerian (adverbial clause).

There are seven types of adverbial clauses:


  Common conjunctions
Contrast clauses  although; though; even though; while;
Reason clauses because; since; as
Place clauses where; wherever; everywhere
Purpose clauses so that; so; because + want
Result clauses so that; so … that; such … that
Time clauses when; before; after; since; while; as; as soon as; by the time; until
Conditional clauses  if; unless; provided (that); as long as

Complete the sentences with conjunctions.

Match conjunctions to functions.




It contains very good and useful materials for learners and teachers. I am English teacher from India.

it was a good game to understand

Hello Adam,
I have  a question regarding the usage of commas in a compound sentence.
Do you use a comma before a conjunction in a compound sentence in the UK?
I am really confused now because I have been in the US, and people use a comma before a conjunction in a compound sentence.
Thank you,

I live in China and want to download some english masterpiece to richen my vocabularies,could you tell me which website I could download?
Thanks a lot!!!

Do you know your account says you are from Bolivia? Perhaps you are a Bolivian living in China...
Anyway, probably the most famous place to download literary masterpieces online is Project Gutenberg. Having said that, many masterpieces are not easy to read, so be careful in your selection!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

i want to learn grammar.

Hi Agsint

Good for you! Good luck with your studies.


The LearnEnglish Team

Does the English Grammar forum contain what is written in quick Grammar forum or should I read both?

Hi Hamdi,
That's a good question! They are two different descriptions of the language, written from slightly different perspectives.
The English Grammar by Dave Willis is more complete. The Quick Grammar is shorter!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, Adam,
Where is the best place to download a lot of listening materials within this site? Many thanks!